Unpacking Retail Transformation with Oliver Banks

March 13, 2021



Our special guest, Oliver Banks, joins the podcast to share his experience working with countless retailers on transformation projects to bring them closer to their customers and avoid the apocalypse. What does retail transformation mean? How can brands know if they’re ready for it? Where do you even start?

  • We ask these questions and more of our special guest, Oliver Banks, founder, and director of OB& Co and host of the Retail Transformation Show podcast. Oliver works with retailers, medium and large, to guide their transformation projects to success, all the way helping them realize the true purpose behind their brand.
  • Oliver strongly believes that transformation has to come from the top and that if senior leadership isn’t bought in, it’s going to be very difficult to deliver the kinds of customer experiences people have come to expect.

Conversation Rundown

[ 3:45-5:27 ] New era of localization of retail
Local shops have flourished during the pandemic. Independent retailers stood apart in terms of their quality of service and product. Beyond that, consumers were more focused on the economic realities of this pandemic. There was a major push towards buying local, whether that meant grocery or fashion. This trend is going to continue even beyond the pandemic.

[ 11:06-13:08 ] Reports of stores' deaths have been exaggerated
Stores play a part in most purchases. Reports of their death have been exaggerated. Of course, some major retailers have fallen recently, and those have been highly publicized. But the businesses that have fallen had long-standing problems. In other words, stores were not to blame. Big retailers, at their best, invest in the customer experience. They leverage stores to market their brand and enable faster order fulfillment instead of viewing stores as an ankle weight.

[ 13:10-14:16 ] The Primark Case Study
Primark has no real eCommerce presence to speak of but they are a brilliantly run brick-and-mortar business. They have retained their market share in the pandemic. Consumers were lining outside the store for hours when they finally reopened. This case study should tell you that brick-and-mortar is the not problem. Brands can survive and flourish operating primarily brick-and-mortar businesses. As long as they invest in the customer experience.

[ 16:01-16:54 ] New KPIs to measure the success of stores
The customer journey has changed dramatically in the last decade. Buying decisions are influenced by a variety of different channels. And stores continue to be one of the primary channels that influence those buying decisions. Local stores are key. And retailers need to come up with new KPIs for how to measure the success of their stores instead of just looking at sales per square footage.

[ 25:58-26:36 ] Customers care about justice
Customers today care about justice. That word, justice, can span a lot of different topics: social justice, sustainability, etc. Many retailers are making statements with their wallets. They choose to give their hard-earned money to those retailers that care about the same issues they do. It's a major issue in the retail industry and one that can be addressed without compromising on profits.

Meet the Experts

Oliver is the Founder & Director of OB&Co Ltd and has a wealth of business and operational change experience. He is a Black Belt in Six Sigma and uses best practice Project and Programme Management skills such as PRINCE2 and from the PMBOK. He focuses on improving businesses, large and small, through directing and overseeing the right change programmes and projects to ensure that they deliver the right benefits in the right way.

Retail Tips & Tweetables

Instead of urgent transformation, it is better to continue to evolve and transform all the time.

Retailers must know how they are actually helping their specific target customer, And if not, there is a need to transform the business.

Online retail cannot beat the ability to touch and feel the garment, see how it shimmers in the light and try it on.

A retailer must have the answer - Why do we have stores? What are they there for?

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